This is the starting point for case officers before proceeding to the State aid tests.

Is the support/funding given to an economic undertaking? Before the State aid tests can be applied it is necessary to establish whether the support is provided to an undertaking/s engaged in an economic activity.

State aid is any advantage granted by a public bodies through state resources on a selective basis, to any organisations that could potentially distort competition and trade in the European Union.

What is State Aid?

State Aid is a term that refers to forms of public assistance, using taxpayer-funded resources, given to undertakings on a discretionary basis, with the potential to distort competition and affect trade between member states of the European Union. The State Aid "Undertaking in Difficulty" test The European Commission apply a prohibition on undertakings in difficulty receiving aid under certain Articles of the General Block Exemption Regulation , the Temporary Framework and ERDF projects. A basic guide to state aid rules.

The Court of Justice first recalled that “(23) the private creditor test is not an exception which applies only if a Member State so requests, when all the constituent elements of State aid incompatible with the common market, as laid down in Article 107(1) TFEU, exist.

As a result, it has been inclined to take a fairly tough line on state aid in this sector. State Aid Law and the Market Economy Operator Principle (MEOP) The Market Economy Operator Principle (MEOP) is a concept which has been developed by the Commission to determine whether a transaction entered into by a public body gives an advantage to a particular economic undertaking and therefore falls within the State aid regime.

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